I was living in Pittsburgh throughout the “Canadian Caper” (late 1979-early 1980). When the escape of six American hostages hit the news, I couldn’t buy a drink for a week. The spontaneous, heartfelt thanks astonished me. With Ben Affleck’s melodramatic version of this tale of intrigue and deception, it was extremely disappointing to see the Canucks’ role (notably Victor Garber’s everybody’s-favourite-uncle portrayal of the key player: then-Canadian Ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor) shunted in favour of CIA wunderkind, Tony Mendez (Affleck).
How unfortunate that John le Carré wasn’t engaged to re-create the circumstances as to more what actually happened. Affleck’s take (acting and directing) is too black-and-white, stretching the credibility bar to the breaking point. His fiction is stranger than truth. JWR